Cowards. Or so it seems. The CAFTA 15 appear to have either slipped in the back door or ended up as no-shows at last night's fundraiser in their honor put on by the business community. Me thinks that the attention put on the fundraiser here and other places made these spineless folks take a powder. Here are some details from the event from one of my spies on location:
About 40 people waited to greet the so-called Democrats as they arrived at 101 Constitution Ave (for those of you outside-the-Beltway folks like me, that's just a stone's throw away from the Capitol building and is, ironically, the Carpenters' union headquarters--they used to occupy the whole thing but remodeled and leased out a lot of the space so they could use the income to hire ORGANIZERS...). The 40 included representatives from SEIU, Boilermakers, Teamsters, Painters and Firefighters, as well as Karen Ackerman, political director for the AFL-CIO (good for her...). Need it be said that a showing of reps from AFL-CIO and Change To Win coalition members, particularly the disaffiliated Teamsters and SEIU, is a great sign.
Only three of the so-called Democrats were sited: Jim Matheson from Utah (left) and Jim Moran of Virginia (below, the white haired dude seen at the center) who actually went in the front door, and Ruben Hinojosa, who, apparently not wanting to show his face out front, slipped in through the garage. One union staffer also picked out a staff person for Ed Towns (NY), who was probably just coming to pick up the check for his boss.
My source tells me that about five town cars with tinted windows pulled up to the building, stopped and waited for somet ime and, then, drove away without discharging or picking up anyone. It might be safe to surmise that one of more of the CAFTA 15, or their staffers, were inside the cars and did not want to confront the crowd, which include someone dressed up as a Fat Cat who greeted the attendees with CAFTA "cash" reading "You betray your constituents to vote for CAFTA, and Then Corporations Pay You Cash at Fancy Washington Fundraisers."
There were also lobbyists galore. Bill Lane from Caterpillar (seen here at left)) was one of the lead lobbyists for CAFTA and, as one of my source's says, "just about any other trade deal over the past 10 years."
They may not have shown up--but everyone knows who they are and what districts they represent.